Nikon Df Review

Nikon Df Review

Our original Nikon Df preview video

What are some of the Nikon Df’s key features and unique selling points? Find out in our Nikon Df preview video.

Nikon Df vs D610 vs D800: 10 Size and weight

This is the Nikon Df, Nikon’s retro-styled full-frame camera and the latest addition to the Nikon DSLR range, coming just a week after the Nikon D5300.

Although the retro looks may pay homage to the company’s 35mm film camera history, at the heart of this new Nikon camera is the same 16.2 million pixel FX (full frame) CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor that can be found in the Nikon D4.

SEE MORE: Nikon Df vs D610 vs D800: 12 things you need to know about Nikon’s full-frame cameras

But while it may share many modern technologies with the professional camera series, it also features a few additions that have otherwise been slowly disappearing from camera bodies in the digital world. We’ll bring you more on these soon.

Here Angela Nicholson takes a first look at the camera and what it has to offer as it mixes the best from Nikon’s past and present.

Nikon Df Preview Video Transcript

Hi I’m Angela Nicholson and I’m at Nikon UK’s head office to take a look at a pre-production sample of the new Df.

As you can see the Df has a retro design that has been inspired by some of Nikon’s past film SLRs, however inside is the same 16.2 million pixel full-frame (or FX) sensor and EXPEED 3 processing engine as the top-of-the-range Nikon D4.

On the top of the camera here we’ve got dials to control essential aspects such as the shutter speed, sensitivity and exposure compensation. Each of these dials has a lock to prevent them being knocked out of position.

There’s also a dial over here for setting the exposure mode with settings for aperture and shutter priority, manual and program mode. There are no automatic options.

Let’s take a closer look at the other dials.

The shutter speed dial has markings running from 4 to 1/4000 of a second, adjusting in whole stops. There’s also a B for bulb mode and a T for time mode along with an X for flash synchronisation.

This 1/3 step setting allows the rear command dial to be used to set shutter speed and then the value can be adjusted in 1/3 stops.

Over here exposure compensation runs between plus ans minus 3EV while the sensitivity can be set in the native range of ISO 100-12,800 with expansion settings taking this down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 204,800 – the same as the D4.

One last thing to note before we leave the top-plate, the shutter release is threaded so you can use a traditional plunger-type cable release.

As it’s an SLR the Nikon Df has an optical viewfinder and its the same as the one on the D4 so it has a 100% field of view. It’s nice and bright, so it will serve users of manual focus lenses well.

On that subject, as it has a novel collapsible metering coupling lever the Nikon Df is compatible with just about all Nikon F-mount lenses. According to Nikon UK, there are only around 3 non-compatible Nikon-F lenses.

On the back of the Nikon Df there’s a 3.2-inch 921,000 dot LCD which is reveals plenty of detail and doesn’t seem to suffer excessively from reflections.

Around the LCD we have all the buttons we’d expect on a digital SLR along with a switch to select the metering mode.

Turning to the front of the camera, there’s a front command dial, which looks a little different from the ones on Nikons recent D-series cameras.

There’s also a button here, which when used in conjunction with the front and rear command dials allows the bracketing options to be selected.

The focus mode is controlled in the same way as one Nikon other recent DSLRs, by using this switch to select manual or autofocus mode, and then pressing this button and rotating the command dials to select the various AF options.

Pressing the menu button reveals that the menu is pretty much as you’d expect with a modern Nikon SLR, but there are no video options as the Nikon Df is a stills only camera.

The Nikon Df feels really nicely put together, it’s solid and robust feeling. It’s also weather-sealed to the same level as the D800, so you don’t need to worry if the weather takes a turn for the worse when you’re out shooting.

As this is a pre-production sample I can’t show you any images from it. We’ll have to wait until we get a full production sample in for testing. However, as it’s got the same sensor and processing engine as the D4 and tried an tested metering, white balance and autofocus system we can be reasonably confident that it’s going to perform well.


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